stumbling block(redirected from stumbling blocks)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal.
A challenge or hindrance that prevents something from being accomplished. Stay away from your old friends—their drug use will be a stumbling block in your recovery from alcoholism. We're trying to sell the house, but its undesirable location has proved to be a real stumbling block.
Fig. something that prevents or obstructs progress. We'd like to buy that house, but the high price is a stumbling block. Jim's age is a stumbling block to getting another job. He's over sixty.
A hindrance or obstacle, as in His lack of a degree is a real stumbling block to his advancement. This term originally meant "a tree stump over which one trips." Its figurative use dates from the early 1500s.